Sunday, October 5, 2014

Why I prefer Chill to Call of Cthulhu

I posted yesterday about backing the Chill 3rd Edition Kickstarter and why you should too.

After fully reading the Chill 3rd Edition Quick Start that you get immediately upon backing at any level, it reminded me why I like Chill 2nd Edition and why I prefer it to the Grandaddy of all Horror RPG's, Call of Cthulhu.

While I'm a huge fan of the Cthulhu Mythos (especially the work of Brian Lumley) and think the RPG is extremely well crafted, neither the sub-genre nor the theme of the RPG mesh with the style of game I want to run.

Chill's type of monsters and set-up lend themselves better to the type of thrillers that my mind crafts: horror with heavy doses of adventure and, hopefully, plenty of monster slaying.

First, I think SAVE and the Unknown are a better foundation for a campaign.  Cosmic horror with its slow trudge to insanity isn't the type of horror game I aim for, and I don't believe it lends itself to long term campaigns.

Second, the monsters of the Unknown aren't all powerful ungodly creatures with cultists whose goal is to bring about the end of humanity--whom the Great Old Ones don't even notice.  Chill draws more from Supernatural, Kolchak the Nightstalker, Van Helsing, and Fright Night.

Third, I like that the player characters have access to psychic powers, called the Art.  The Art can be used by succeeding on a percentile roll, spendinging willpower or stamina or the use of a new mechanic not present in 1st or 2nd edition, where you can turn a token from the light side to the dark side.  Once the dark side is visible, the GM then can use that dark token by turning it to the light side for various effects of the Unknown.

Finally, what I prefer about Chill is that SAVE agents have better chances to succeed on their percentile rolls, generally, than characters from Call of Cthulhu.  On top of this, rolls have varying degrees of success or failure to help mitigate actions.  If you roll less than your skill or ability but more than half of it, you have a low success.  If you roll less than half of your ability or skill, its a high success.  If you succeed and roll doubles you colossal success.  Looking at skills, it appear (this is my one gripe, since I didn't see it addressed in the Quick Start) that Basic training in a skill (noted with a "B" in front of the percentile chance, e.g. B62) grants a 10% bonus.  While, Expert training (noted with an "E", e.g. E92) grants a 25% bonus.

Overall, I'm sold on Chill 3rd Edition and just wish I'd gotten on the SAVE Journalist level, so I could get access to all of the playtest versions of future books.

No comments:

Thundarr the Movie

As a life-long comics fan and a retailer with a quarter century of experience, I was today years old when I discovered that Buzz Dixon and ...